Adopting Lady Poverty into your family

Adopting Lady Poverty into your family

While most Catholic families of my acquaintance know something of financial self-sacrifice, I like the way that Jason at Sirach 40:20 phrases his outlook on the prospect of Poverty in the Married Life.

I do not claim to share the extreme poverty that is a constant plague on so many in the world. In fact, it is almost a shame to use the same word for these two aspects of it. When monastic communities mention their poverty, it is most likely not this type of poverty either. Most of the monks at the Benedictine monastery here would be the last to admit that they are suffering from malnutrition and the like due to their vow of poverty. They eat well and sleep in well. Their vow of poverty is the lack of personal property. Everything that they earn is dedicated to the welfare of the community. Marriage requires this same sacrifice.

As a husband and father, I have come to realize how true it is that we carry the special burden of providing material benefits to our loved ones. I’ve laid awake at night contemplating my awesome responsibility.

Christian poverty is not simply a lack of goods, but a willing self-sacrifice, an attitude of abandonment of selfish needs for the needs of others. Likewise, charity to the poor is not only the giving of material goods or wealth to those who have none. As Melanie just said to me, you don’t have to go out into the streets to find those who need your charity; they’re right there at home with you. But it also cannot end in the home; that charity must be the foundation of charity that does extend outside the home.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli